In the last 10 years, India has been witness to the loss of a huge number of elephants killed. In fact, the number is as huge as 429 and they have all been lost to poaching, the Government of India has revealed. The government has responded to a RTI (Right to Information) question to the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, which comes under the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The wildlife agency has further said that during this exact period, as many as 642 poachers had been apprehended from the various parts of the country for the elephants killed.
The RTI query was filed by Ranjan Tomar, who is a Noida based lawyer. He sought state wise data about the total number of elephants that have been slaughtered by poachers in the past 10 years along with information on the number of offenders arrested. The data also showed that the state, in which the highest number of elephants was killed during the period, was Kerala at 136.
The are several other states which showed a high number of elephants that were killed and they are as follows: West Bengal, 48; Karnataka, 46; Tamil Nadu, 44; and Odisha, 41. However, the good news is that there are states where not a single pachyderm was neutralized. The list of those states is as follows: Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim, Punjab, Telangana, Daman and Diu; and Dadra and Nagar Haveli for the time period that we have been talking about. On the other hand, Tripura registered just one elephant killing due to the poachers.
The government information also shows the number of pachyderms poached has come down sharply in the past 10 years from 53 in the year 2008 to just 5 in the year 2018. All 5 elephants killed were reported from the Indian state of Assam. The information comes with the welcome news that the total number of elephants killed by the poacher community has been gradually coming down. This is especially true for the past 4 to 5 years.